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Saturday, January 25, 2014

8 Installment Payments Scheme Eyed for 2 Frigates

Avante 1800 light frigates (image : Navantia)

Should the contract for the Department of National Defense's P18-billion frigate program be awarded to a qualified shipbuilder within the year, the country will be making eight payments for the two ships which will give the Philippine Navy a much-needed boost in surveillance and firepower capability.

Commodore Roland Mercado, Philippine Navy technical working group head for the frigate project, said the proposed payment scheme can be broken down as follows:

* 15 percent during the awarding of the contract;
* 15 percent upon finalization of the contract;
* 10 percent for the laying of the keel of the ships;
* 10 percent for the construction of the vessel;
* 15 percent for installation of engines, weapons, communications, sensor systems, and       
   auxiliary machinery;
* 15 percent during the acceptance trials;
* 10 percent upon delivery of the frigates to the Philippines;
* 10 percent upon completion of the warranty period.

Mercado said that this payment scheme is still for approval of PN flag-officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano.

Building of the two ships is expected to be completed within two years.

Some technical specifications of the DND's P18-billion frigate program have been revealed by MaxDefense: Philippines, a blogsite for Philippine defense-related matters.

This includes a capability to conduct air-to-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and electronic warfare (EW).

Aside from this, these naval vessels should be able to do extended maritime patrol with an embarked helicopter and operating up to Sea State 6.

It must also have a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 15 knots, endurance of 30 days in tropical condition, and capable of running up to 25 knots of continuous speed.

Navigation equipment of the two ships, at a minimum, must consist of two navigation radars, GPS, depth sounding set, and vessel tracking system compatible to PN's existing system.

The frigates' weapons system, at a minimum, should consist of a 76-mm gun; stabilized secondary gun; four .50-caliber machine guns, surface-to-surface missile launchers, surface-to-air missile launching system, and anti-submarine torpedoes. 


DND Bidding for Upgrade of Navy Patrol Ship Fails

BRP Artermio Ricarte PS-37 (photo : Bronco669)

The STAR learned that Keppel Marine Philippines Inc., the only firm that submitted a bid, was declared ineligible during the bidding for the P216-million project held early this month.

The Defense department’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) found a deficiency in one of the documents submitted by the company.

Under the rules, a company should satisfy all documentary requirements to be declared an eligible bidder.

The documents for the upgrade project have been returned to the Navy for a mandatory review. End-users of the projects conduct reviews after failed biddings to determine if some adjustments should be made.

The BAC will likely hold another round of bidding for the project, which aims to boost the Navy’s maritime security capabilities.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PAF to Acquire 3 Modern Flight Simulators for P246-M

T-50 flight simulator (photo : Lockheed Martin)

MANILA - The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is acquiring three modern flight simulators for P246.4 million to help pilots operate efficiently the soon-to-be-delivered T-50 fighter jets from South Korea.

The Department of National Defense (DND) said it is bidding out the project designed to enhance the operational capability of the PAF.

“This will allow pilots an almost full sensory experience that can aid improving flight instruction, enhancing proficiency, minimizing risks associated with emergency procedures training, reducing accidents, filling up downtimes, and saving on aircraft operational and maintenance costs,” Defense Undersecretary Efren Fernandez, chair of the Bids and Award Committee for the project, said.

“The DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines now invite bids from eligible bidders for the Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project. Delivery of the goods is required within a period of 600 calendar days from the opening of the Letter of Credit (LC),” Fernandez said.

Sources said the government is set to acquire more fighter jets from other countries.

Prior to the opening of the bid for the simulator project on Feb. 10, a pre-bid conference will be held on Jan. 27 at the DND BAC Conference Room at Camp Aguinaldo.

“The DND and the AFP reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all bids at any time prior to the contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders,” Fernandez said.

(ABS CBN News)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

DND Building Air Force Facilities in Palawan, Tawi-Tawi

DND) is building two Air Force facilities  in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and in Sanga-Sanga in Tawi-Tawi (photo : David Osborn)

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) is building two Air Force facilities to upgrade the military’s maritime defense and rescue capabilities over the country’s territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea and Sulu Sea.

Called the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Search and Rescue Basing and Hangarage Project amounting to about P149 million, the facilities will be constructed in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and in Sanga-Sanga in Tawi-Tawi.

The department also signed an P882-million contract with an Israeli firm last week for the acquisition of 28 armored infantry fighting vehicles.

The PAF is also expecting deliveries of a squadron of lead-in fighter jets and rotary aircraft under its ongoing capability upgrade projects in line with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s modernization program.

“The plan is to upgrade the capability requirements of the Philippine Air Force and improve the operational effectiveness by constructing hangars and facilities as support systems to sustain the search and rescue operations and support its maritime security and protection of the Malampaya natural gas-to-power project, the Reed Bank and the future Sulu oil rig,” said Defense Undersecretary Eduardo Batac, who chairs the DND’s Special Bids and Awards Committee-2, in a published bidding invitation for the two projects.

Reed Bank, which is also being claimed by China, is believed to be sitting on huge oil and natural gas deposits.

Two years ago, two Chinese vessels harassed a civilian survey vessel commissioned by the Department of Energy, prompting then Western Command Cmdr. Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban to dispatch two OV-10 bombers to ensure the safety of the DOE vessel and its crew.

The Malampaya natural gas-to-power project, also in the waters of Palawan, is in full operation. There are also ongoing oil explorations in Sulu Sea, which is believed to contain huge oil and mineral deposits.

“The DND and AFP now invite bids for eligible bidders for the construction of two SAR hangarage projects including other requirements,” Batac said.

Pre-bid conference is scheduled on Jan. 22 at the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office conference room in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Opening of bids for the project has been scheduled on Feb. 3 at the same venue.

“Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens or organizations with at least 75 percent interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines,” Batac said.

On the acquisition of 28 armored infantry fighting vehicles from Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems Land and C4I, Batac said it is aimed at boosting the inventory of light armored units and land fighting capabilities of the 80,000-strong Philippine Army.

Four of the 28 armored vehicles are of the recovery type, which can be used to tow damaged units in times of combat.

Defense assistant secretary Patrick Velez said delivery is expected within two years.


PN Confirms 2 More Frigates to be Acquired

PF-15 BRP Gregorio del Pilar (photo : US Navy)

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Friday announced that it is planning to acquire two more frigates, aside from the two units which the Department of National Defense (DND) is now bidding out.

"(Other than the two frigates that are undergoing bidding, there are two more acquisitions that are being planned," Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said.

No other details are available yet on this projects as it is still on the planning stage.

Fabic said that once this program comes into fruit, the PN will boost a force of seven frigates.

This includes the two Gregorio Del Pilar frigates (formerly the US' Hamilton class cutters) and the BRP Rajah Humabon (PF-11), the last active duty World War II era destroyer escort in PN service.

A PN study revealed that it would need around P497 billion to fully upgrade its fleet.

Once it has this money, the Navy can now acquired the abovementioned items along with four sealift vessels, 18 landing craft utility vessels, three logistics ships, 12 coastal interdiction patrol boats, 30 patrol gunboats, and 42 multi-purpose assault crafts that can be equipped with torpedoes and missiles.

Also included in the envisioned force mix are eight amphibious maritime patrol aicraft, 18 naval helicopters, and eight multi-purpose helicopters.

"Looking at the PN's inventory of mission essential equipment, it is very discernible that majority of our assets and vessels were acquired not necessarily because they fit into our strategy or operational requirement but because they are available as grant from the US or from our allies," the PN study concluded.

(PTV News)

See Also :

Philippines outlines plans to acquire surplus US ships

The Philippine military is seeking to procure two former US naval vessels under an agreement with the United States that will seek to boost the Philippine Navy's (PN's) maritime awareness and capability at sea.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista told reporters during a press briefing on 15 January that funding will come from a military assistance package provided by the US government.

The USD40 million package was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Manila on 17 December 2013.

While not elaborating, military sources said the Philippines will probably seek two additional US Coast Guard (USCG) Hamilton-class high endurance cutters or smaller offshore patrol craft.


DND Inks Contract for 28 Israeli-Made 'Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles

M-113 equipped with a 76mm cannon (photo : Timawa)

MANILA (PNA) -- The Department of National Defense (DND) has formally signed the contact for the delivery of 28 "armored infantry fighting vehicles" which will boost the inventory of the Army's light armored units.

DND Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said that this project is worth P882 million. He said the contract was already signed last week.

He added that the contract was awarded to Israeli's leading defense manufacturer, Elbit Systems Land and C4I.

Four of the 28 "armored infantry fighting vehicles" are recovery models which can be used to tow units damaged or incapacitated in the battlefield.

For security reasons, Velez declined to give specifics of the vehicles' armament, speed and armor but stressed that these armored infantry fighting vehicles "are very capable."

Full delivery of these vehicles is expected within a year or around January 2015.

The PA, which has around 10 infantry divisions, is equipped with 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles).

Capt. Anthony Bacus, Army spokesperson, said earlier that these AFVs are distributed to the various infantry units to provide them with mobility and additional firepower.

"Around 85 percent of these AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent are on red (beyond repair)," he added.

Some 150 of these are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba" with the remaining AFVs consisting of US designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113 "Bradley", Turkish made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRTs.

These AFVs give the PA dependable armor capability and are organized into a 14-vehicle mechanized infantry companion for deployment with regular units. 


See Also :

Philippine Army to 'recycle' old Scorpion tanks

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines will "recycle" its decommissioned Scorpion light reconnaissance tanks to bolster the Army's existing fleet of armored vehicles.

The Defense Department recently signed a P888-million contract with Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Land and C41 to upgrade 24 of the Philippine Army's M113 armored personnel carriers.

A major part of the project is the transfer of the Scorpion's two-man turret, which is equipped with a 76mm cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun, onto the M113 -- transforming it from a "battle taxi" into a fire support vehicle.

The upgraded M113 fire support vehicle will be equipped with new fire control and thermal imaging systems that will give the FSVs all-weather capability to detect and engage targets at longer distances as well as improve weapon accuracy.

According to Jane's, a military analysis website, the 76mm gun "will be very useful in counterinsurgency operations as it can fire a wide range of ammunition types including high explosive, smoke, illuminating, and high-explosive squash head."

Apart from the 14 M113 fire support vehicle variants, four of the M113's will be upgraded to Infantry Fighting Vehicles armed with 25mm automatic cannons.

The remaining six will be equipped with additional .50 caliber heavy machine guns.

These 24 M113's will also get an upgrade on armor protection and amphibious capability.

The Israeli firm will throw in, for free, four M113 armored recovery and repair vehicles.

The Philippine army expects delivery of the 28 combat vehicles by January 2015. These will then be spread out to the Army's infantry units.

As for the hull and other parts of the Scorpion light tanks, these will be used for spare and surplus parts.

This is not the first time the Scorpion's turret was recycled and transplanted onto another armored combat vehicle.

Australia installed the Scorpion turrets on 45 of its M113 armored personnel carriers and Canada installed it on their Grizzly wheeled armored personnel carrier. These vehicles, re-designated as fire support vehicles, have since been phased out.


Spanish Firm Eligible to Bid for P5.3-B Aircraft Deal

Airbus Military C-295 medium lift fixed-wing aircraft (photo : Shephard)

MANILA, Philippines - A Spanish firm has been declared the only eligible bidder for the supply of three new Air Force medium lift fixed-wing aircraft worth P5.3 billion.

EADS/CASA-Airbus Military was the only one to meet the defense department’s technical and financial requirements during yesterday’s bidding in Camp Aguinaldo.

It offered to supply the aircraft for P5,288,609,983.99, lower than the P5.3-billion approved budget for the project.

The Spanish company plans to deliver C-295 planes  described by the Airbus website as “the most capable and versatile transport and surveillance aircraft.”

Airbus said the air assets can carry up to nine tons of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 kt or 480 km/h.

The C-295 plane manufactured by EADS/CASA landed in the news in previous years due to issues involving its quality.

Reports published in 2012 said the Czech military had returned the C-295 planes to EADS/CASA after they were found to be faulty.

The same model figured in a 2008 crash in Poland that left 20 people dead.

Defense officials are expected to inspect the planes during the bidding’s post-qualification phase.

It will allow the defense department to validate claims in the bidder’s documents and to assess the quality of aircraft to be supplied.

The post-qualification phase is expected to begin within the month or after the SBAC-1 deals with the issues raised by Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi, one of the firms that expressed interest in the project. 

Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said the post qualification will probably take not less than one week since it will be done in Spain.


Philippine Army to Get 400 Brand-New Light Rocket Launchers

The new acquisition of 400 US-made RPG-7 (USA) 40 mm recoilless rifles  will replace the obsolete M18 57 mm and M67 90 mm recoilless rifles (photo : Military Times)

In line with its modernization program, the Philippine Army (PA) on Friday announced that it will be getting 400 units of LRRs (light rocket launcher anti-tank weapons) before the end of 2014.

Capt. Anthony Bacus, Army spokesperson, said that these weapons are meant to replace the 186 units of 90-mm and 26 pieces of 57-mm recoilless rifles currently in service.

He added the decision to acquire the 400 units of LRRs was done as the recilless rifles were too heavy to be carried by a single soldier alone.

"One of the downside aspect for these old weapons is that they are too heavy to be carried by an individual soldier, that most instances, it impedes the movement of maneuvering troops," Bacus stressed.

Aside from these LRRs, the PA also has 12 units of 76-mm guns and 300 25-mm cannons for its anti-armor role.

Anti-armor capability refers to the ability to destroy or disable enemy armor in the battlefield.

PA anti-armor weapons are issued to elite and special operations units and the newly-created mechanized infantry companies which consist of 14 armored vehicles each.


Indonesian Firm Wins Bidding for Supply of 2 Navy Vessels

PT PAL Strategic Sealift Vessel (photo : Defense Studies)

MANILA, Philippines - An Indonesian company has won the bidding for the supply of two new vessels for the Navy.

Sources told The STAR a notice of award for the P4-billion acquisition of two strategic sealift vessels was issued to PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) late last month.

This was confirmed yesterday by Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, who oversees the military’s upgrade efforts.

“Yes, I think there is a NOA (notice of award) already,” Manalo said when asked whether PT PAL had won the bidding for the project.

PT PAL offered to supply the two ships for $86,980,000 or about P3.864 billion, well within the approved budget of P4 billion.

The strategic sealift vessels can be used for civil-military operations and for transporting large number of soldiers, logistics and supplies. Each of the vessels can also accommodate three helicopters.

Nine companies bought bid documents for the project but only two of them submitted offers.

The other bidder, Daewoo International, was declared by the Bids and Awards Committee as ineligible due to its failure to meet certain technical requirements.

The other companies that had expressed interest in the project but had not submitted bids were Propmech Corp., Larsen & Toubro, Stone of David Tactical Equipment, STX Offshore Shipbuilding Co., Keppel Philippines Marine Inc., PT Citra Shipyard, and a joint venture between Astartez Defense and Rescue Solution Co. and Coastal Industries Pse. Ltd.

PT PAL underwent post-qualification process in the last quarter of 2013 before it was declared the winner. The post-qualification phase sought to verify the financial and technical documents submitted by the bidder.

The strategic sealift vessels acquisition project is one of the big-ticket items in the military’s upgrade program.

(ABS CBN News)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Army to Boost Fire Support with 14 APCs

M-113  armored personnel carriers (photo : general equipment)

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Army will acquire 14 M113 armored personnel carriers in 2015 to boost its fire support capabilities.

Army spokesperson Capt. Anthony Bacus said the M113 vehicles will be installed with 76-mm turrets among others from decommissioned Scorpion combat vehicle reconnaissance (tracked) units.

"It will be fitted with modern fire control and thermal imaging equipment. Once it is completed, the 76mm cannon armed M113s will be quite lethal," Bacus added.

The Army is currently operating over 100 M113 units, and the would-be acquisitions are manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments.

In the United States Army, the M113 series have been replaced as front-line combat vehicles by the M2 and M3 Bradley.

The Department of National Defense had said that more than P85 billion is needed for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 2014 to 2018.

Last year, the Army commissioned excess M1114 Armored Humvees as well as M939 and M35 truck series from the US. The new fighting vehicles provided fire support during the Zamboanga siege last September.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

3 Firms Interested to Upgrade BRP Artemio Ricarte

PS-37 BRP Artemio Ricarte corvette (photo : angelfire)

3 firms interested in P216-M Navy project
MANILA, Philippines - Three companies have expressed interest to undertake the P216-million upgrade project of the Navy’s patrol vessel BRP Artemio Ricarte.

The STAR learned yesterday that the three companies are Colorado Shipyard, Keppel Marine Philippines Inc. and FF Cruz & Co. Inc.

It remains uncertain as to whether these companies would submit bids for the  project.

One of the Navy’s three Jacinto-class ships, the Ricarte   is currently deployed within the Manila-Cavite area.

The other two are BRP Apolinario Mabini and BRP Emilio Jacinto, both of which can be used for maritime patrols and interdiction.

The P216-million project constitutes the second phase of the Jacinto-class patrol vessels’ marine engineering upgrade project.

It will include hull repairs and the improvement of the ship’s electrical plant and control and monitoring systems.

The first phase was completed in 2005 and involved the upgrading of command and control systems and installation of cannons, compass and radars, among other equipment.

To be qualified, prospective bidders must have completed a similar contract within five years from the submission of bids.

A complete set of bid documents may be purchased from the defense department’s Bids and Awards Committee for P50,000.

They may also be downloaded from the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System website provided that the bidder will pay for them before the submission of bids.

Late bids as well as those that are higher than the approved budget will be rejected.                 


P18.9-B FA-50 Trainer Jet Project Hangs; DND Pitches Counteroffer to Koreans

KAI F/A-50 Golden Eagle (photo : aereo)

MANILA - The project to procure 12 units of Korean trainer jets worth a total P18.9 billion for the Philippine Air Force continues to hang over issues of downpayment and after-sales service turnaround, but the Department of National Defense, which recommended a counter-offer, remains confident the deal will push through.   

Apparently, sources said, President Benigno Aquino III himself seemed not keen on signing the contract owing to the hurdles that cropped up in DND negotiations with manufacturer Korean Aerospace Incorporation (KAI) for the sale of the 12 FA-50s.

Among the key issues, as identified earlier by Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, is the 52 percent “advance payment” sought by KAI before it starts production. Republic Act 9184 only allows 15-percent advance payment.

Manalo is head for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel of the DND.

The second major issues revolves around KAI’s reluctance to accept the Philippine government’s terms for it to deliver spare parts within 30 to 45 days upon receipt of notice.

“The turnaround time, our standard turnaround time is between 30 and 45 days upon receipt of the notice of the proponent, and that the warranty is still valid. They have to deliver the spare parts so we can immediately replace the defective spare parts. I think the warranty is two years or 600 hours, whichever comes first,” said Manalo. He explained that the dispute stems from KAI’s insistence on a 180-day turnaround, which DND deems too long. 

The issues notwithstanding, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin is optimistic negotiations can still proceed. At Tuesday’s joint DND-Armed Forces New Year Call at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Gazmin said the department recommended a counteroffer to KAI, which they are asking Malacanang Palace to clear.

“Nag-submit na kami ng recommendation to the President for his approval…Ang recommendation nito [We submitted our recommendation to the President for his approval. The recommendation] is progressive billing,” he said.

Should the project push through, delivery of the first batch of the units is targeted in 2015. This means delivery will only be completed after President Aquino’s term ends. 

Military insiders earlier expressed doubts over the wisdom of the FA-50 negotiations, saying among others that the jet platform is not what the country needs for territorial defense. “Painfully, the much touted FA-50 Lead-In Fighter has revealed itself to be newly designed short-range trainer aircraft with recent certifications for only very basic weapons; in effect, just enough rhetoric to label it a Lead-In Fighter, as opposed to its true form, an Advanced Jet Trainer with limited weapons,” one source said.

Another source had another track: “As FA-50 negotiations continue and the request for a P10-billion down payment looms, the DND should look towards its counterparts in Brazil, where the Super Tucano is manufactured.  After a long number of years of extensive research, study, and consideration, Brazil has just announced its choice for its next Multi-Role Fighter aircraft,” he said. 

Compared to the Super Tucano, the source added, “the FA-50’s combat capability is disappointing.  The propeller-driven Super Tucano can travel further, stay on patrol longer, and is a combat-proven aircraft with a myriad of advanced weapons, superior to the weapons of the FA-50.  Although not a Multi-Role Fighter, the Super Tucano’s combat abilities quite embarrass those of the FA-50.” 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Philippine Army Displays Drones to Public

PA-RDC Raptor and White Knight are based on two variation of the popular Skywalker remote control model. (photo : PhilStar)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Army showcased to the public its drones at a static display at Camp Aguinaldo as part of the anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Thursday.

This finally confirmed reports that the military used unmanned aerial systems (UAS) during the Zamboanga crisis last September.

The UAS provides real time imagery intelligence and video feed from a particular area with a range of three to seven kilometers and can extend up to 50 kilometers, Army spokesman Captain Anthony Bacus said.

“It complements the existing Human Intelligence/ Signals Intelligence capability of the Army which is used in surveillance operations and also in humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” he added.

The Philippine Army showcases its unmanned aerial systems used in the Zamboanga siege at a static display held at Camp Aguinaldo Thursday. (photo : AFP)

He also said the drones had been “instrumental” in their operations against the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City last September.

The Army started its research and development of drones in 2012 which cost P2.5 million. The first drone (Raptor), is worth P150,000. The second drone (Knight Falcon) is worth P300,000.
A third drone is in the works, which will be a more enhanced version of the two drones. It will cost P1.5 million.

Other Army assets also showcased at the static display were GARMIN Global Positioning System and a 100mm mortar.

The static display showcased the capabilities and new acquisitions of the military. The Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy also put up their own booths.

Wingspan : 1.68m / 1.9m
Weight : 2.1 kg
Operating Altitude : 1000 feet
Operating Radius : 3 to 7 km
Payload : 12 Megapixel CCD Camera
Cost : P 150,000 to P 350,000

Technical Specifications:

Developer : AFP - Philippine Army Research and Development
Airframe : Skywalker RC Airframe - Two variations V3 and carbon fibre boom version.
Propulsion : Electric brush-less
Power System : Lithium-Polymer
Radio Control : Futaba FASST 2.4gHz or with 433mhz range extender 
Autopilot : FeiyuTech (China) UAV GPS capable autopilot system with radio datalink. 433 or 900mhz.
Ground Station : Software-based FYGCS on Windows 7.

Video Link : Standard 5.8 gHz. FY Hornet OSD (On Screen Display)


DND May Spend P4.5 B for Fighter Jet Munitions

F/A-50 Light Combat Aircraft (photo : Yonhap)

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense is planning to spend about P4.5 billion to arm the 12 lead-in fighter trainer jets it is seeking to acquire from South Korea.

Defense department data show that the munitions for the fighter jets are not included in the aircraft acquisition program under the revised Armed Forces modernization law.

The acquisition of munitions for the fighter jets will be divided into four phases – P4.33 billion for the first two and P139 million for the other two.

Details of the items to be installed in the jets were not immediately available. Previous reports, however, said the aircraft being eyed can be armed with precision guided bombs and air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles.

The defense department said the munitions may be acquired either through negotiated or public bidding.

The mode of procurement depends on the availability of the items in the market. Military equipment being offered by several suppliers are normally acquired through public bidding, while specialized ones are usually acquired through negotiations.

The government aims to shell out P18.9 billion to acquire 12 FA-50 jets from South Korea to improve the country’s territorial defense capabilities.

Security officials are now negotiating with South Korean firm Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the project.

The government also aims to spend P135.99 million for the basing support systems for the fighter jets.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the delivery of the jets may start in June 2015.

The defense department had asked Malacañang to allow the release of a 52-percent down payment to KAI.

The law permits state agencies to pay 15- percent down payment to suppliers while the rest of the amount would be paid upon delivery of the goods.

KAI wants the Philippines to pay 52- percent down payment to cover the aircraft manufacturing costs. Such payment scheme would require the approval of President Aquino.

The acquisition of FA-50 jets is one of the big ticket items in the military’s multibillion-peso upgrade program.


Navy Pilots Trained for ‘Power’ Choppers

AW-109 Power naval helicopter (photo : sandy-timawa)

Manila, Philippines – A military spokesman on Saturday disclosed that the Philippine Navy (PN) has a sufficient number of pilots and flight crew to man its three newly-acquired AW-109 “Power” helicopters, and two more that are due to arrive in 2014.

PN spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said that at the moment, there are seven pilots assigned per helicopter.

He added that an equivalent number of AW-109 trained co-pilots and crewmen are also available.

“More (pilots and crewmen) are now undergoing training to ensure that the aircraft can be manned at all times,” said Fabic.

The Naval Air Group (NAG), the unit tasked to operate and maintain the Navy’s aerial assets, currently has more than 50 pilots on its roster, according to the Navy spokesman.

Prior the arrival of the AW-109s last December 8, the inventory of the NAG consists of one Robinson R-22 helicopter, Blohm B0-105 helicopter, two Islander aircraft, and four Cessna light utility planes.

The firm’s representatives added that the AW-109 is very maneuverable, and very ideal for shipboard deployment.

(Manila Bulletin)

US, Canada Firms Bag PAF Huey Deal

Rice Aircraft is expected to start delivery of 21 UH-1 within six months.(photo : Rice Aircraft Services)

MANILA, Philippines - A joint venture of two companies based in North America has bagged the deal to supply 21 UH-1 combat utility helicopters to the Philippine Air Force.

The joint venture of American firm Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Canadian company Eagle Copters Ltd. won the contract for the supply and delivery of Huey helicopters, the workhorse of the military’s operations.

The STAR learned that the notice of award was issued to the joint venture last week.

Defense Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said in an interview the Huey helicopters can be used for rescue and internal security operations.

“The helicopters will be used to meet immediate requirements. They will be used to address the dwindling capability of the Air Force,” Velez said.

The approved outlay for the project was P1.26 billion, but the helicopters would be purchased for about P1.25 million less than the approved budget for the contract, he added.

The supplier is expected to start delivery within six months.

“The first delivery based on the requirements is six months but they might deliver that in as close as two weeks,” Velez said.

Earlier, the Defense department held three public biddings for the Huey helicopters acquisition project but all of these failed due to the bidders’ failure to meet some requirements. The Defense department then resorted to an alternative form of procurement to acquire the helicopters.

Officials said the procurement mode was similar to public bidding but without the publication requirements. Under a public bidding, the procuring agency should publish a bid notice in newspapers and the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System website.

Section 53 of the implementing rules of the procurement law allows agencies to resort to a negotiated procurement when there has been a failure of public bidding for the second time.

Negotiated procurement was defined as “a method of procurement of goods, infrastructure projects and consulting services, whereby the procuring entity directly negotiates a contract with a technically, legally and financially capable supplier, contractor or consultant.”

The 21 UH-1 helicopters were originally intended to perform poll-related duties last May but the acquisition had been delayed by failed biddings.

Fighter jets

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the delivery of lead-in fighter trainer jets to be acquired from South Korea may start in June 2015.

The government plans to spend P18.9 billion to acquire 12 FA-50 jets from South Korea to boost the Air Force’s territorial defense capabilities.


DND Seeks Release of Funds to Buy Korean Fighter Jets

KAI F/A-50 light combat aircaft (photo : sbs) 

MANILA, Philippines - The Defense department has asked Malacañang to allow the release of a 52-percent down payment to the South Korean firm that offered to supply 12 fighter jets to the military.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said they have submitted their recommendation to the Office of the President, which will have the final say on the matter.

“We recommended approval of the DP (down payment) and progress billing,” Gazmin said in a text message Thursday.

The law permits state agencies to pay a 15-percent down payment to suppliers while the rest of the amount would be paid upon the delivery of goods.

South Korean firm Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) wants the Philippines to pay 52 percent down payment to cover its manufacturing costs. Such payment scheme would require the approval of President Aquino.

Gazmin said the delivery of the jets may start in June 2015.

Defense Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said negotiations are underway but declined to provide a deadline for the signing of the contract.

“We have settled the turnaround time issue. We are discussing the payment scheme,” he said in a separate interview.

“I’d rather not put a date on this,” he added.

The turnaround time is the period required for the delivery of the jets’ spare parts under a two-year warranty. Gazmin said both parties have agreed to set the turnaround time at 60 days.

The government plans to spend P18.9 billion to acquire 12 FA-50 jets from South Korea. The acquisition is part of the effort to boost the Air Force’s territorial defense capabilities.  Security officials started their negotiations with KAI in July.

Earlier, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz said two FA-50 jets could be delivered by the end of 2014 if all the necessary documents are signed this year.

Officials, however, said it is unlikely that a deal would be reached this year.

The acquisition of FA-50 jets is one of the big ticket items in the military’s multi-billion upgrade program.

A total of P85.29-billion is needed to support the program for the next four years.


DND Eyes 4 Projects to Upgrade Military Bases

Clark air force base (photo : airport technology)

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) is set to implement at least four projects aimed at upgrading military bases under the new Armed Forces Modernization Law.

The projects, amounting to over P2 billion, seek to support new military assets to be acquired by the government.

The four base-related projects are the Air Force basing support systems for long-range patrol aircraft (P187 million), lead-in fighter trainer jets (P135.99 million), Air Force radar system (P825.52 million) and Navy basing support system (P1 billion).

The base support project for the long-range patrol aircraft will be implemented in Lipa, Palawan and Zamboanga.

The DND also bared plans to acquire two units of long-range patrol aircraft worth P5.98 billion and 12 lead in-fighter trainer jets worth P18.9 billion to boost its territorial defense capabilities and security operations.

The Air Force plans to buy three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion to improve its monitoring capabilities.

On the other hand, the Navy is still threshing out its P1-billion basing support system consisting of 10 projects.

The old Armed Forces Modernization Act, which took effect in 1995, gave the military a chance to modernize its assets and equipment in 15 years with a P331-billion fund.

However, the program was stalled due to lack of funds and the changing priorities of the national leadership. As a result, the Philippine military has been dubbed one of the most poorly equipped in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last year, President Aquino signed a new modernization law to provide more resources to the military’s upgrade efforts.

More than P85 billion is required to fund the program, which will get P15 billion per year from the national budget until 2017.

Another source of funding is the President’s commitment, which is expected to channel P632.18 million to the program yearly until 2015.

A total of P4.78 billion will come from proceeds of the Malampaya natural gas project, in which the government has a share from taxes, royalties and charges, and remittances from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

(ABS CBN News)
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